A Pre-4th Paddle

Ah solitude. Something you won’t find around here today. Tony and I went for our four-mile walk around the block this morning, and it sounds like summer. Not the bugs and breeze and soft crunch of wet sand, either, but the incessant thunder of boats racing on the lakes.

Tourism slowly ramps up following Memorial Day and crescendos today, July 4th. I don’t blame the tourists for flocking up here – after all, I used to be one – but I don’t miss them when things calm down again after Labor Day. Since it’s appropriate, I’ll just remind myself that they have the freedom to travel up here (and back to their homes!), and for that we should all be thankful.

Okay, done grousing. Instead, I’ll share a bit of quiet time we captured on a recent after-work outing. Because the rivers and lakes do get so busy in the summer months – especially on the weekends – we opted for a mid-week evening trip down the Platte River in Benzie county. It’s clear and mostly shallow with a sleepy current, and is one of our favorite paddles. We always see large fish hovering in the depths in the river bends. We often spot whitetails and heron in the wide wetlands. And we sometimes witness the activities of other water-dwelling creatures.

On this particular trip, we didn’t see any deer, but we did see several woodpeckers, and only one other human (walking his three dogs upstream) for the entire 2.5 hour duration. Oh yes, we also floated downstream with an adventuresome muskrat, too (bottom, left photo in the gallery).

Happy Independence Day. May you spend it however you best enjoy it – even if that is in northern Michigan roaring around on a lake that I’d rather experience in quiet serenity.

Click any photo for a larger version in a slideshow

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8 thoughts on “A Pre-4th Paddle

  1. Looks so refreshingly peaceful. We will have a quiet day with ribs, cole slaw and potato salad. A typical founding fathers’ meal I’m sure.

    • Both refreshing and peaceful 🙂
      And I suspect your Independence Day meal was more typical than mine: grilled chicken, curried roasted potatoes and grilled summer squash. But it sure tasted like summer!

  2. My grandparents lived on a local lake most of the year and I always liked it when all the boats went home. September is so beautiful on the lakes. 🙂

    • I don’t want to be too negative about it; it’s lovely and I understand what draws folks here. But, I like the peace of it and just cannot relate to the noisy, superfast aspect of it all. Why come to such a place as this if that’s your intent? Ah well. There I go grousing again… September will come and we’ll see if it’s too soon 😉

  3. This was a welcome, relaxing memory after the midway chaos we just ventured back from haha 🙂 My favorite kayak trip to date. Would love a copy of that pic of Baby J learning to paddle!

    • It’s definitely one of my favorite Platte trips! I have full-resolution pics for you of all the ones that feature Cliftons…just need to remember to get them to you. Perhaps tomorrow?

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